My Comic Book Crisis

A woman of a certain age, a computer, and a love of comics

Ben Grimm aka Thing

I had a birthday recently, and as you might imagine at a time like this, I’ve got a lot on my mind as another year has gone by.

I wonder, for instance, will I ever be able to retire? Will there be peace in my lifetime? Will I ever lose that Freshman 15? (Granted, it’s been 30 years since I was a freshman, but I remain hopeful.)

Also weighing heavily on my mind is Ben Grimm.

Ian went to DragonCon a few months ago and, nice guy that he is, brought me Ultimate Fantastic Four #1back a copy of Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. I. I wasn’t that up on the FF, but I loved the story and learning about their origins. Just one thing continues to nag at me and that’s Ben Grimm.

OK, just consider this: Reed, Sue and Johnny are playing with some serious physics stuff  — the kind you don’t learn in public high school — when Grimm comes to visit his old pal Reed. Through no fault of his, the whole project goes to hell and he ends up as Thing.

And that’s it. He’s Thing. Have you everFantastic Four 129 stopped to consider the injustice? Reed gets all elastic-like, but when he’s not a human piece of gum, he a relatively normal-looking guy. Johnny gets to go up in flames at will, but when he’s not a hottie of a whole different kind, he’s gets to be the good-looking rogue. And Sue gets to be invisible. Then, when she’s not invisible, she’s the nauseatingly cute-as-a-button girl next door.

Grimm gets superpowers too. And when he’s not a big, powerful, hulking pile of rocks, he’s … a big, powerful, hulking pile of rocks. He never gets to look like a normal guy again. It’s just so frustratingly unfair. And it has been bothering me ever since I finished that FF trade.

It kind of reminds me of the Charlie Brown episode from Halloween. You know the one:

“Hey, I got three cookies!”

“I got a pack of gum!”

“I got a rock.”

Ben Grimm aka ThingSo what do I take from all of this? Ben Grimm is the Charlie Brown of the superhero world. He’s the one who gets the rock. I’m just waiting for the issue when Sue invites him to kick a football.

Charlie BrownAnd I, having a soft spot for the underdog, feel bad for Grimm, just as I do for Charlie Brown. Let’s face it. Charlie Brown is a downer as far as comics go.

Recently my LCS had 75 percent off back issues, so I bought a bunch of old, really cool, collectible Fantastic Fours at an excellent price. Really, it’s the least I could do for old Grimm.

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